Canada should acquire 12 new submarines, senate report says

The current fleet of four Victoria-class submarines is inadequate to provide an effective presence in three oceans and a much larger fleet is required, report says. Photo: Royal Canadian Navy

The Canadian Navy should acquire 12 new submarines with air independent propulsion, members of the Canadian standing senate defense committee recommended in their report released on Monday.

Titled ‘Reinvesting in the Canadian Armed Forces: A plan for the future’, the report suggests that the defense spending increase to 2% of the GDP in the next eleven years should be used to acquire the submarines, among other high-value items.

The 12 submarines should be distributed equally between the country’s two coasts.

The report also calls for the acquisition of a second Resolve-class auxiliary oiler replenishment ship and another 18 surface combatant vessels.

Furthermore, the replacement of maritime coastal defense vessels should be accelerated to allow for the acquisition of mine countermeasure vessels and destroyers.

The committee also expressed concerned over the capabilities of the Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships (AOPS) that are currently under construction. According to the report, the reason for this was the fact that these ships cannot operate in ice more than a meter thick, are slower than a BC Ferry, can only operate in the arctic from June to October and will require a coast guard escort when in the northern waters.

Another recommendation was the procurement of Aegis battle systems or a similar styled platform.

Such an investment will allow for the meaningful protection of Canada’s naval fleet; the ability to stop threats; the ability to determine the sequence of response to an attack; the ability to determine protection of ships and in what order, and it will allow, most importantly for the survival of the fleet if attacked,” the report said.


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